North Carolina cannot thrive without an education system that prepares all of our children, regardless of income or neighborhood, to be a part of our globally competitive community. That means investing in our teachers and prioritizing smart, innovative ideas that will improve our schools. When we lose qualified educators to other states—and we are losing them, at an alarming rate—our entire education system suffers. Mary advocates paying our teachers what they deserve, and giving them the support they need to stay in North Carolina.

We also need to pay attention to the needs of our high school graduates. Whether they choose to go on to college or to enter the workforce more quickly, they are depending on us to help them succeed. That’s why Mary believes that creating technical and vocational training opportunities at both the high school and the community college levels is so important. These programs help prepare students for jobs in the industries that are leading the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region in job creation and growth, becoming economic drivers that benefit all of us. By investing in our students’ education and training, we are enriching their lives and our entire community.